Oh I do love a bit of hair braiding, my only concern with doing them on every shoot is that it works better on blonde hair as you get to see the detail. The exception to the rule: Patti Smith, who can do no wrong in my book.

Model- Dree Hemingway (great grand-daughter of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway),
Hair by my favourite hairstylist Eugene Souleiman.

Also, two weeks to go for your chance to win our Denu Devine shampoo giveaway.
Entries close on June 10th 2010 and the winner will announced on Monday 14th June 2010. The winner will receive: One bottle of Divine shampoo 275ml. One bottle of Men's shampoo 260ml. One bottle of Divine conditioner 275ml .
Click here to enter.


Interview with Nina Butkovich-Budden part 1.

A while back, in a previous post, I stumbled upon Nina Butkovich-Budden, a hairstylist whom I greatly admire. Her work is placed somewhere between the past and the future. I admire her so much that I decided to stalked her via various social networking sites to get an interview. This is the outcome of when you get a chance to talk to your hero. This interview is part 1 of 2.

I wrote this article for The Hub Magazine.

I discovered your work while perusing the endless photos from London Fashion Week … the hair you did for Marko Mitanoski is amazing. How did that collaboration come about?

I was in Croatia with Issidora - my partner in crime - and we were both "dying" of flu, and as one does we were in front of the TV watching FTV when all of a sudden this amazing vision appeared! It was a show Marko Mitanovski did for Belgrade Fashion Week. I was in awe of his design aesthetic and decided to find him straight away. I Googled him and found him on Facebook. I proceeded to tell him I wasn't a stalker and that we should work together. I invited him to London and asked my friend who owns a talent agency to sign him up and bring him over. He accepted the invite and within four months he was chosen for Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s "Ones to Watch’, and as they say –the rest is a history!

Marko Mitanoski’s clothes are “other-worldly”, what was the inspiration for the antlers?

Marko's clothes are something else and as a whole feel quite dark, structured and almost gothic in shape, which required equally magnificent structured hair. I was thinking along the lines of trees and branches and then one morning I woke up with an epiphany – the antlers! I began researching and my eye caught the site of an incredible Scottish deer. I suggested it to Marko and he loved it! The first prototype was a challenge. The structure was created by my friend, the sculptor, Julie Elgar, who managed to manipulate chicken wire into antlers. I used hair to make them bearable for the models to wear. They were very wobbly and heavy at first, but now we’ve fine-tuned them using a much lighter base.

I saw Lady Gaga wearing one of your antlers, how did that come about?

Oh, that’s a cool story. We got approached by the fabulous stylist Nicola Formichetti (who is the senior fashion director of Dazed & Confused magazine amongst others), who is also Lady Gaga's stylist He asked us to supply him with a couple of pieces from Marko's collection for the Q Magazine photoshoot. We took a chance and custom made a pair of antlers for Lady Gaga that we included with the costumes. Little did we know that fashion photographer Nick Knight was going to use them for the ‘Put Your Paws Up’ interlude on her Monster Tour! I have a lot of respect for Gaga wearing all the young designers’ clothes and giving them a platform for success… Formichetti is a genius at discovering all the new talent out there.

My research tells me you were born in Croatia; did you start your hair career there? And did you always have an interest in hair?

Yes, I was born and raised in Zagreb. After the war I decided I needed to change the ambience and moved to London. Over there I attended the Art school, but I got bored and decided to save the animals of the planet and enrolled to become a veterinary surgeon. Fortunately for the world of vintage hair I hated it and realized it was a bad decision, so I left.

When did you have a “hair-epiphany”, or when did you realize you wanted to become a hairdresser?

In the early 1990's I approached my friend Dorees who is the owner of a prestigious London hair salon and begged her to take me on as an apprentice. After a year of learning and numerous tantrums I was able to cut a perfect Nancy Kwan (film actress) bob created for her by Vidal Sasson in the 60's – which was my goal. Once I was able to achieve that, I was ready to hit the world of Haute Coiffure.

How did you start out in hairdressing?

Cutting hair with nail scissors.... local punks, Goths and alternatives were guinea pigs and lots of friendships ceased there hahaha!

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon...

Special thanks to Rachael from creative-idle.


Meet Thy Maker- Denu shampoo giveaway

Hey y'all. I have in my hands a package of 100% natural and organic Divine Shampoo and Conditioner, plus a bottle of a new men's shampoo from the good people at Denu to give away. All you have to do is comment on this post to be in the draw to win. Entries close on June 10th 2010 and the winner will announced on Monday 14th June 2010.

The winner will receive
One bottle of Divine shampoo 275ml
One bottle of Men's shampoo 260ml
One bottle of Divine conditioner 275ml .

Good luck, but first of all,
Meet thy maker..

I’m interested in the natural and organic angle, was that something you’d previously been interested in?

I became aware of the added ingredients in food, body products and cleaning products about 7 years ago. It was such an eye opener; l was completely shocked at the number of chemicals in products l was using on a daily basis especially as l knew skin is the largest organ of our body and absorbs what’s applied to it and l didn’t want all of those chemicals in my body. Hair and scalp also absorb what’s applied to it so l started looking for natural and organic shampoo and conditioner and found several options although l wasn’t completely happy with any of them – some were ineffective, incredibly expensive, foreign made or ridiculously over packaged (such a waste both economically and environmentally) so l knew there was a gap in the market l could fill. After working for 10 years travelling as a sales & marketing manager for a global company, l decided to start my own business and create a range of body products that are effective to use, natural & organic, made in Australia, packaged beautifully and support local charities - denu is almost 3 years old and growing strong..

Can you speak a bit about your process, in terms of how you create your products, choose your fragrances and came up with the name of your company?

Denu comes from the word denude meaning bare and this is the idea behind the products – using bare natural ingredients.

The process involves lots of testing! I have many fabulous ‘testers’ (family & friends) who willingly test new products and scents and let me know what they like and don’t like in regards to the effectiveness, the feel, the smell and how long it lasts them, etc. l also have a great team that l work very closely with; for example, my scent lady (as l affectionately call her) created the denu scent that’s used in several products such as the hand cream and it’s based on feedback from my market research for a fresh, citrus base scent without lavender.

This is a question I get asked about a lot in terms of shampoo, which is “does this contain sodium lauryl sulfate?” And I understand most consumers are aware of the harmful dangers using SLS and we all know why other shampoo companies use sls, simply put, because it’s cheap. I noticed your shampoo contains olefin sulfonate. What should a consumer know about olefin sulfonate?

Yes, SLS is something to avoid as studies have indicated that SLS easily penetrates through the skin and enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain. Olefin sulfonate is an emulsifier which, helps essential oils mix with water and is plant derived, from coconut. It allows the shampoo to bubble without the nasty side effects associated with SLS.

Sigmond Frued said “Soap is the Yardstick of Civilization”. Back in ye olde days people just used soap in their hair, modern shampoo was made because our water was becoming harder and regular soap wasn’t doing the trick. Today, our water is extremely treated and the customer is well practiced in the use of hair irons and straighteners. Is this something you consider when making a product for modern use?

To a certain extent, yes. l wanted to produce and only happy using a shampoo that is natural and contains organic ingredients where available. Is also must be effective on many types of hair – be that oily, dry, chemical treated, coloured, etc so people can reduce the amount of chemicals they put on their head and scalp. Whilst this wasn’t my main aim, the fact that my products work so well on any type of hair without using synthetic ingredients means hair will be healthier.

What are your future plans?

I’ve recently added a shampoo and body wash for my men’s range; the shampoo has a new specially created denu scent (my clever scent lady worked her magic yet again) which is an essential oil blend
of traditional masculine notes modernised with fresh citrus and it’s getting a great response with men; in fact l already have several women who have bought the shampoo for their partners and love the scent so much, they start using it too. Both of my shampoos are suitable for all hair types - so that works fine! Next l’d like to introduce children’s products to the denu range; specifically a no-tears shampoo/ body wash and lovely moisturiser. I often receive product feedback from customers which l really pay attention to as it often gives me ideas for new products..

Sarah from Denu Products.